THE HEIRLOOM GARDEN
Author: Viola Shipman
Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: Graydon House
In this heartwarming and feel-good novel filled with echoes of Dorothea Benton Frank, Debbie Macomber and Elizabeth Berg, two women separated by a generation but equally scarred by war find hope, meaning – and each other – through a garden of heirloom flowers.
Iris Maynard lost her husband in World War II, her daughter to loneliness and, finally, her reason to live. Walled off from the world for decades behind a towering fence surrounding her home and gardens, the former botanist has built a new family…of flowers. Iris propagates her own daylilies and roses while tending to an heirloom garden filled with starts – and memories – of her own mother, grandmother, husband and daughter.
When Abby Peterson moves to Grand Haven, Michigan, with her family – a husband traumatized during his service in the Iraq War and a young daughter searching for stability – they find themselves next door to Iris, and are slowly drawn into her reclusive neighbour’s life where, united by loss and a love of flowers, Iris and Abby slowly unearth their secrets to each other. Eventually, the two teach one another that the earth grounds us all, gardens are a grand healer, and as flowers bloom so do our hopes and dreams.
Iris has decided to rent her house next door to a small family. She has no intention of having anything to do with them. Iris is a recluse and all she needs is her garden. However, life has a way of throwing you curve balls. This little family ends up changing her life.
This story is a wonderful read about healing and love of family and friends. It is full of some of the best characters ever. I fell in love with Iris. She is so beaten down by life but she keeps going strong. She is an extremely smart woman and that always appeals to me. Then there is Abby. She has to be tough to overcome what life has thrown at her. Cory, her husband is broken from his experience in Iraq. He knows he has to pull himself together for his family. But, my all time favorite character is Lilly. She is Abby and Cory’s little girl and she is just amazing.
I love the way the author throws in unique aspects of history. Lots of little tidbits here and there. And the flowers! I really enjoyed just about everything in this novel. This is such a well written story. It is hard to believe I have never read a book by this author.
Don’t miss this one! Grab it today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Viola Shipman is the pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his writing. Rouse is the author of The Summer Cottage, as well as The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest which have been translated into more than a dozen languages and become international bestsellers. He lives in Saugatuck, Michigan and Palm Springs, California, and has written for People, Coastal Living, Good Housekeeping, and Taste of Home, along with other publications, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.
Author Website: https://www.violashipman.com/